Thousands without power in the cold Wednesday night

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Close to 80,000 residents in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee lost power at some point Wednesday, as crippling ice and freezing rain hit the area.

"The house is starting to get a bit cold," said Vicki Whitaker, who lost her power a little before 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. By 7:30 p.m., the power had still not come back on.

"I think it's 62 in here right now," she said.

As many as 10,000 people in Horry County alone lost power as crews scrambled to restore it. A warming center was opened up at Beach Church.

"If people need to get out of the cold, they can come here," said Pastor Damon Adcock.

Even the church temporarily lost power at one point during the day.

Some Horry Electric customers, including Vicki, said they'd had difficulty reaching the company to report outages. A post on the company's Facebook page revealed an outage in their phone systems, but HTC was working on restoring communications.

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